Vo­da­com equips girls in IT

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

EM­POW­ER­ing women and help­ing young peo­ple in­crease their skillset through tech­nol­ogy are im­por­tant ar­eas of en­deav­our for the Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion.

This was said by Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Spe­cial­ist Thato Mo­chone dur­ing this past week’s “Code like a girl” camp in which girls aged be­tween 14 to 18 years were equipped with web­site de­vel­op­ment skills.

The camp, which was held from Mon­day to Fri­day at the Maseru Mall-based Vo­da­com in­no­va­tion Park, was con­ducted by fe­male Vo­da­com Le­sotho em­ploy­ees from the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy (iT) de­part­ment namely, Tankiso Chakache, Mathabo Mokoma, Tselise­hang Mole­batsi, Set­soto Hlohlomi and itume­leng Senekane.

among the sub­jects cov­ered were web­site de­vel­op­ment us­ing Boot­strap, CSS and HTML and ba­sic de­sign tech­niques.

One of the train­ers, Vo­da­com iT Oper­a­tions Spe­cial­ist Set­soto Hlohlomi, said the camp was their con­tri­bu­tion to the at­tain­ment of the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment goals (SDgs) — a set of global goals to end poverty, pro­tect the planet, and en­sure pros­per­ity for all.

Ms Hlohlomi said their fo­cus was on at­tain­ing SDG five, of achiev­ing gen­der equal­ity and em­pow­er­ing all women and girls.

“This ini­tia­tive is geared to­wards bridg­ing the gen­der gap in the spheres of science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics,” she said, adding that women were sig­nif­i­cantly out­num­bered by men in those fields.

The par­tic­i­pants, Ms Hlohlomi said, were di­vided into var­i­ous groups. The win­ning team mem­bers each walked away with var­i­ous prizes in­clud­ing Vo­da­com de­vices and air­time.

She said the goal of the ini­tia­tive was to pique the girls’ in­ter­est in the field and en­cour­age them to ex­plore the “count­less pos­si­bil­i­ties” of what they can do with code to solve prob­lems in their com­mu­ni­ties.

“Be­cause of this camp, these young girls will have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of pro­gram­ming, the future of com­puter science, and a de­sire to en­ter into a sim­i­lar ca­reer field,” Ms Hlohlomi said.

“These girls have made me wish that i had learnt pro­gram­ming at a younger age. The progress they made in just one week is won­der­ful and i hope this will spark an in­ter­est in the science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths fields for those who were still un­sure of the ca­reer path they would like to fol­low.”

Ms Mo­chone told the Sun­day Ex­press in an in­ter­view that the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant was com­mit­ted to foster gen­der par­ity in­ter­nally and in the wider so­ci­ety.

She said em­pow­er­ing women and help­ing young peo­ple in­crease their skillset through tech­nol­ogy were two im­por­tant ar­eas of fo­cus for Vo­da­com as part of the com­pany’s 10-year sus­tain­able goals.

The com­pany, Ms Mo­chone said, had set for it­self the goal of be­ing the best em­ployer for women by 2025.

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